Fire ban lifted

The Ministry of Natural Resources has lifted the restricted fire zone that had been imposed on most of the region, including Fort Frances District, since midnight Thursday night.
Due to an unexpected amount of rainfall Saturday and Sunday, most of the new fires detected in the region last week have been extinguished, Jeff Antoszek, a spokesman for the MNR’s West Region Fire Centre, said today.
The area affected by the weekend ban extended east from the Manitoba border to Lake Nipigon and the Nipigon River, and from the U.S. border north to the CNR line near Kenora.
The restricted fire zone, a measure imposed to prevent human-caused wildfires, was declared in the wake of a spate of new blazes discovered in the area, Antoszek said, including six on Friday alone.
“We were seeing as many as 10 new fires a day,” he said.
“Because of the dry conditions, and the forecast calling for that to continue through the weekend, we were into a high hazard situation,” he noted.
Fortunately, rain came a bit earlier than expected, helping FireRanger crews to put out most of the burning fires over the weekend. No new fires were detected yesterday.
In a restricted fire zone, all outdoor fires, including those for cooking and warmth, are banned except in specially-approved organized campgrounds. Portable stoves can be used but should be handled with extreme caution.